WENATCHEE, Wash. – Long-time Wenatchee AppleSox head coach, Ed Knaggs, has made the decision to wrap up his AppleSox coaching career, following his fourteenth season in the Wenatchee Valley.
“The last fourteen summers have been one of my true blessings in life,” said Knaggs. “I’ve had the good fortune to work for great ownership (Jim Corcoran and Ken Osborne), work with outstanding assistant coaches and be supported by the best fans in the West Coast League. I’ve also had the good fortune to cross paths with so many great young people. Myself, along with our host families and our fans have been very spoiled with the talented players and success that we’ve enjoyed with the AppleSox.”
Coach Knaggs has been at the helm of the AppleSox Baseball Club since 2001, just one season after summer collegiate baseball came to the Wenatchee Valley.
"It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with Ed for the last fourteen years,” said AppleSox owner Jim Corcoran. “His ability to consistently create teams that were always contenders is a testament to his baseball expertise.”
Knaggs is the most decorated coach in West Coast League history. He was the WCL Co-Coach of the Year in 2009 and Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2012. In his fourteen years with the club, the AppleSox have never managed worse than a winning record.
Dating back to the team’s humble beginnings in the Pacific International League, Knaggs has seen 771 AppleSox games in dugouts around the Pacific Northwest.
379 college athletes have been proud to call Knaggs, “coach,” and eight of his former players have gone on to play Major League baseball. Countless others are in the minor leagues, still striving to complete their journey to the show.
“As I just witnessed two nights ago, the emotion of our players at the end of the season as they are getting ready to leave Wenatchee is special,” said Knaggs. “Their experience is second-to-none and so many of our players do it for just one summer. I’ve been lucky enough to do it for fourteen.”
Coach Knaggs has helped recruit and produce 41 First Team All-League players and 34 Second-Team All-League athletes from 2001-2013 in summer collegiate ball, with the All-League teams for 2014 still pending.
Three times, he has coached a WCL Most Valuable Player award winner.
The AppleSox went on to win six league championships with Knaggs in charge. In 2003, Wenatchee won the Pacific International League Championship. They won the West Coast League Championship in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2012.
“One of the things that goes along with the schedule of being the head coach for the AppleSox is a pretty hefty time commitment,” said Knaggs. “So, the flip side of my coaching and all of the positive things that have come along with that is that I believe my children have suffered from me not being around as often, so I really look forward to spending more time with them and I look forward to my opportunities in the future. Baseball has been a big part of my life since I was playing; being a coach for 34 years, I don’t anticipate being out of baseball for very long, but it’s time for something new.”
Knaggs began his collegiate baseball career at UC Irvine as a player and was an assistant coach at Gonzaga University for seven years. He also spent one season as an assistant coach for the Chatham A’s of the Cape Cod League. He served as Wenatchee High School’s head baseball coach from 1991-2011 and was instrumental in bringing American Legion Baseball to the Wenatchee Valley.
“Coach Knaggs set high standards for his players, and every summer, he brought the best athletes to town,” said Corcoran. “Each team represented Wenatchee well on the field and in the community. Ed leaves a great legacy for the AppleSox and the West Coast League. He will be missed."
The AppleSox will finalize plans for the team’s 2015 coaching staff and a selection of the team’s third head coach can be expected in the near future.
Coach Knaggs was a pivotal part of the success experienced by the AppleSox in the team’s first fifteen years and has laid the ground work for another successful fifteen seasons in the Wenatchee Valley.